Air Force Falls to Utah Valley in Regular Season Finale
Feb. 20, 2009
OREM, Utah - In its final dual meet of the season, the Air Force wrestling team dropped a 36-6 decision to Utah Valley Friday evening. The Falcons conclude the regular season with a 4-12 overall record and 1-5 mark in the Western Wrestling Conference, while the Wolverines move to 11-3 overall, 4-1 in the WWC.
With the dual starting at 184 pounds, Utah Valley got out to a 10-0 advantage, posting a major decision and a fall in the first two bouts. The Falcons picked up their first victory in the heavyweight bout, as junior Stephen Larson (Lakeville, Minn.) edged out Diego Avalon. After a scoreless opening period, both wrestlers were awarded a stalling point in the second period. Larson's third-period escape proved to be the difference in the 2-1 decision.
Utah Valley then won the next six straight bouts, including a fall by 19th-ranked Ben Kjar in the 125-pound bout. The match was already decided going into the final bout, where Air Force senior captain Stephen Crozier (Monona, Iowa) took on Brad Darrington at 174 pounds. Darrington was first to score, with a takedown midway through the opening period, but Crozier controlled the rest of the bout, giving up just one point in the final five and a half minutes of action. Crozier took the 9-3 decision to give the Falcons their second victory of the night.
Now with the regular season under wraps, the Falcons will set their sights on the NCAA West Regional, being held March 7 in Greeley, Colo. The regional, which also doubles as the WWC Tournament, will serve as the NCAA qualifier for the West Region.
Utah Valley 36, Air Force 6